Staying healthy and fit as a college student may be difficult, particularly when your budget is limited. It may be tempting to depend on fast food and packaged snacks, but doing so may be both costly and harmful in the long term. However, with a few easy suggestions and strategies, it is possible to stick to a healthy and balanced diet while attending college. Let’s look at some tips for eating healthily while in college.
Ways to Avoid Freshmen 15
Staying active and healthy at college may be difficult, particularly if you have a tight schedule, stress, and limited finances. However, prioritizing your health and well-being is critical, since these behaviors may lay the groundwork for a lifetime of excellent health.
Furthermore, the “freshmen 15,” or gaining weight during the first year of college, is a widespread worry among students. It happens commonly because students suddenly get complete freedom of choice and not surprisingly choose the wrong diet. Here are a few things that you should keep in mind:
- Make physical activity a top priority. Regular exercise is critical for overall health and avoiding weight gain. Take a stroll between classes, join a sports team or fitness class, or work out at the school gym to include physical exercise into your daily routine. Even 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day may significantly improve your health and fitness.
- Select healthy alternatives on campus. It might be difficult to eat healthily on campus, but there are generally some healthy alternatives accessible. Fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains are all good choices. Avoid fast food and processed snacks, which are generally high in calories, salt, and bad fats.
- Manage your emotional state. Stress may have a significant influence on both your physical and emotional health, as well as contribute to weight gain. Find healthy strategies to cope with stress, such as practicing mindfulness, getting adequate sleep, or participating in a yoga class.
- Get adequate rest. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep every night and stick to a consistent sleep routine. This may assist to regulate your metabolism and control your hunger.
- Keep hydrated. To keep hydrated during the day, drink at least 8 glasses of water every day and carry a reusable water bottle with you.
Stay Healthy by Eating Healthily (and Affordable)
So you’re probably aware that in order to be healthy, you must keep track of your eating habits. Fast food and snacks are particularly frequent in student diets, which may sometimes be a major concern. You don’t want your health to suffer once you start college, do you? So be sure you follow the following tips:
- Make a food plan. Planning your meals ahead of time is one of the greatest strategies to eat healthily on a budget. Spend some time at the start of each week planning your meals and making a shopping list. This will help you avoid impulsive purchases and ensure that you have everything you need to prepare nutritious meals throughout the week.
- Shop wisely. When food shopping, try to stick to fresh fruits, lean proteins, and other whole foods that may be found here. Avoid the middle aisles, which mainly include processed goods and snacks. To save money on nutritious foods, look for deals and coupons, and purchase in bulk wherever feasible.
- Prepare meals at home. Eating out may be costly, and restaurant meals are often high in calories, salt, and bad fats. Cooking at home is an excellent way to save money while eating healthy. Purchase some basic cooking supplies, such as a decent knife and cutting board, a rice cooker, and a pan, and learn a few easy recipes that you can prepare in bulk and freeze for later use.
- Prepare your own coffee. Coffee shops may be expensive, particularly if you choose sophisticated beverages with plenty of sugar and calories. Invest in a nice coffee machine and start making your own coffee at home. You may save money while also controlling the components to avoid ingesting unneeded calories.
- Bring your own snacks. It might be tempting to grab a bag of chips or a candy bar from a vending machine while you’re on the road. These snacks, however, are often high in sugar, salt, and harmful fats. Pack your own snacks, such as fresh fruit, diced veggies, or nuts and seeds. These snacks are more satisfying, healthier, and frequently less costly than pre-packaged snacks.
- Select lean proteins. Protein is a vital ingredient that aids in the development and repair of muscular tissue, but it may be costly. Look for protein options that are inexpensive, such as beans, lentils, eggs, canned tuna, or chicken thighs. These alternatives are often less costly than higher-priced pieces of meat or pre-packaged protein sources.
- Purchase food that is in season. Seasonal food is often less costly than out-of-season vegetables. Look for discounts on seasonal fruits and veggies and stock up. Excess vegetables may be frozen or preserved for use later in the year.
- Avoid food waste. Food waste may be a significant strain on your budget. Try to eat what you purchase and avoid tossing away leftovers. Leftovers may be repurposed into new meals or frozen for later use. You may also compost food leftovers to save waste and benefit the environment.
- Make use of healthy oils and fats. Healthy oils and fats, such as olive oil, avocado oil, and almonds, are essential for a balanced diet. They may, however, be costly. Look for healthy oil specials and purchase in quantity whenever feasible. You may also experiment with using less oil while cooking or substituting alternative healthy fats, such as mashed avocado or nut butter, for part of the oil.
- Do not be scared of frozen meals. Frozen fruits and vegetables are sometimes just as healthy as fresh food and might be cheaper. Frozen fruits and vegetables are also more handy than fresh food since they don’t deteriorate as rapidly. Frozen fruits and vegetables may be used in smoothies, stir-fries, and other recipes.
To summarize, eating healthily on a college budget does not have to be difficult or costly. You can eat a healthy and balanced diet without breaking your wallet by planning your meals, buying wisely, cooking at home, and making easy changes. You’ll be able to remain active and healthy throughout your college years and beyond if you follow these suggestions.